Magdalena Berkowska

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Recent evidence indicates that the majority of occasional singers can carry a tune. For example, when asked to sing a well-known song (e.g., "Happy Birthday"), nonmusicians performing at a slow tempo are as proficient as professional singers. Yet, some occasional singers are poor singers, mostly in the pitch domain, and sometimes despite not having(More)
Singing is as natural as speaking for the majority of people. Yet some individuals (i.e., 10-15%) are poor singers, typically performing or imitating pitches and melodies inaccurately. This condition, commonly referred to as "tone deafness," has been observed both in the presence and absence of deficient pitch perception. In this article we review the(More)
In this study we examined the effect of reducing linguistic information on singing proficiency in occasional singers. Thirty-nine occasional singers were asked to sing from memory and to imitate three familiar melodies with lyrics and on the syllable /la/. Performances were analyzed with an acoustically based method yielding objective measures of pitch and(More)
Many believe that the majority of people are unable to carry a tune. Yet, this widespread idea underestimates the singing abilities of the layman. Most occasional singers can sing in tune and in time, provided that they perform at a slow tempo. Here we characterize proficient singing in the general population and identify its neuronal underpinnings by(More)
Singing is as natural as speaking for humans. Increasing evidence shows that the layman can carry a tune (e.g., when asked to sing a well-known song or to imitate single pitches, intervals and short melodies). Yet, important individual differences exist in the general population with regard to singing proficiency. Some individuals are particularly(More)
The ability to carry a tune, natural for the majority, is underpinned by a complex functional system (i.e., the vocal sensorimotor loop, VSL). The VSL involves various components, including perceptual mechanisms, auditory-motor mapping, motor control, and memory. The malfunction of one of these components can bring about poor-pitch singing. So far,(More)
This article reviews a range of behavioural and neuroimaging studies with the goal of characterising proficient singing in the general population and identifying its neuronal underpinnings. Evidence is provided to suggest that the majority of individuals can carry a tune, and that a complex neural network engaging motor, auditory and sensorimotor(More)
The abilities to sing and to move to the beat of a rhythmic auditory stimulus emerge early during development, and both engage perceptual, motor, and sensorimotor processes. These similarities between singing and synchronization to a beat may be rooted in biology. Patel (2008) has suggested that motor synchronization to auditory rhythms may have emerged(More)
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